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VEIOVIS 100.00%
An old Italian deity whose peculiar attributes were early forgotten. At Rome he had a famous shrine in the depression between the two peaks of the Capitoline Hill, the Capitol and the Arx. There lay his asylum and afterwards his temple, between two sacred groves. His statue, by the side of which stood a goat as a symbol, had a youthful, beardless head, and carried a bundle of arrows in its right hand; it was therefore supposed that he was the same as the Greek Apollo. Others saw in him a youthful Jupiter; while at a later date he was identified with Dis, the god of the world below. He was probably a god of expiation, and hence at the same time the protector of runaway criminals. The goat, which was sacrificed to him annually on the 7th of March, appears elsewhere in the Roman cult as an expiatory sacrifice.
ASYLUM 39.90%
A Greek word meaning an inviolable refuge for persons fleeing from pursuit. Among the Greeks all holy shrines were Asylums, and any pursuer who should remove a suppliant by force was regarded as a transgressor against the gods. The term asylum was especially applied to such shrines as secured to the suppliants absolute security within their limits, which were often considerable. The priests and the community in each case watched jealously over this right. The sanctuary of Zeus Lycaeus in Arcadia, of Poseidon in the island of Calauria, and of Apollo in Delos, are excellent examples of such asylums. These sanctuaries were exceptionally numerous in Asia. In Rome there was an asylum of great antiquity, said to have been founded by Romulus, in a grove of oaks on the Capitoline Hill. (See VEIOVIS.) The erection of buildings in its neighbourhood gradually rendered it inaccessible. During the Roman period the right of asylum attaching to Greek sanctuaries was, at first, maintained and even confirmed by Roman commanders. But its abuse led to a considerable reduction of the number of asylums under Tiberius. The right of asylum was now confined to such shrines as could found their claims upon ancient tradition. During the imperial period, however, the custom arose of making the statues of the emperors refuges against momentary acts of violence. Armies in the field used the eagles of the legions for the same purpose.
The southern summit of the Capitoline Hill at Rome, separated from the arx or northern summit by a saddle, on which were the asylum and the temple of Veiovis. The Capitol was approached by a road mounting in several zig-zags from the Forum. On the highest point of the southern top was the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, begun by the Tarquins, but not finished till the first year of the Republic (509 B.C.). The temple was quadrangular and nearly square, with three rows of columns in front, six in each row, and four columns on each side. They were in the Doric, or rather the Tuscan, style. The interior was divided by parallel walls into three cellae or chambers. The central chamber was dedicated to Jupiter, and contained a statue of the god in terra-cotta. The senate sometimes held its sittings here, particularly at the opening of the year, and on occasions when war was declared. The right-hand chamber was sacred to Minerva, the left-hand to Juno. The entablature was entirely constructed of wood; the pediment was of terra-cotta, as was the quadriga or four-horsed chariot, with the figure of the god, above. After the Third Punie War the entablature was gilded. In 83 B.C. the whole temple was burnt down to the vaults in which the Sibylline books and other consecrated objects were preserved. Sulla rebuilt the structure strictly on the lines of the old one, though with much greater splendour in detail; but the new temple was not consecrated till 69 B.C. A statue of Jupiter in gold and ivory, on the model of the Olympian Zeus, by Apollonius, was substituted for the old image of terra-cotta. A hundred years later the building was again burnt down, in the civil war of Vitellius and Vespasian. Vespasian restored it, but the new structure was again destroyed by fire in 80 A.D. In 82 Domitian erected a new temple, a Corinthian hexastylos, which survived unhurt till the 5th century A.D. This was gradually destroyed, partly by the invading barbarians who plundered it, and partly in the dissensions of the Middle Ages. The Palazzo Caffarelli now stands upon its foundation.
Type: Standard
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